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Swift dazzles Farragut High School
FHS concert benefits charity, 800 on hand for mid-day event

For a lucky few at Farragut High School, third block turned out to be a party Friday, Feb. 23.

The party began when rising country music sensation Taylor Swift agreed to pay FHS a visit, and while at the school perform a few songs off her recently-turned-gold album, “Taylor Swift.”

Swift is the focus of Great American Country TV’s “Short Cuts,” which has followed the 17-year-old for the past year and documented her rise in the country music industry.

“I’m from Middle-Tennessee,” Swift told farragutpress, “and I’m glad to be [in Farragut] to make new friends and visit.”

Swift said she often goes to visit high schools while on tour to see and talk with students her age.

“I’m home-schooled now,” she said, indicating that she doesn’t get to mingle with students her age as when she attended Hendersonville High School outside Nashville a little more than a year ago.

Following the FHS concert at which Swift performed five tunes including her first hit, “Tim McGraw” and her newest hit, “Teardrops on my Guitar,” Swift spoke to Ginny Herrick’s voice class.

Swift told the gathering of FHS singers that she had been listening to Lee Ann Rimes since she was 6-years-old and that many country stars had influenced her career.

“George Strait and Rascal Flatts have been mentors for me,” she said of the stars she has and is touring with over the past year.

She told the group that her writing is “more about relationships instead of trucks and stuff,” which is characterized more with Pop music.

She added that she enjoys all types of music, but told farragutpress that though “my grandmother was a trained opera singer, I have no desire to study opera — Country Music is my first love.”

Several students wanted to know about Swift’s schooling now that she was on tour.

Swift, an admitted “Grey’s Anatomy” fan, said, “I’m home-schooled and will graduate on time.”

This prompted FHS student Joe LaSage to query the young star as to her availability this May as Farragut had a little thing called a prom going on.

Swift responded she would keep him in mind.

The Country singer’s strongest message to the class was like the Nike commercial, “Just Do It.”

She said, in response to a query about her plans after she graduates from high school, she is doing what she wants to do now for the rest of her life and that is making music.

“The best thing is going out and doing it,” she said. “The best lessons you’re going to learn are on your own.” Swift said she could go to college and study music when she graduates, but she’s learning more now doing music than she believes she could learn in a classroom.

“I’ve been publishing music since I was fourteen,” she said.

Many of her ideas come from her life experiences.

“That’s why I warn people that if you’re mean to me or hurt my feelings,” she said, “I’ll write a song about you.”

She added she takes to the stage at each performance hoping that 15,000 people leave the show and “possibly like me. I would rather have fifteen-thousand friends than fans.”

Swift admits that she is like any other 17-year-old and loves to get out and drive her car with the music loud.

“I can’t drive very well,” she said, “I have a lot of wrecks.”

Getting back to the education question posed earlier, Swift said that if the music thing doesn’t work out, then her next career ambition is to be a cop.

“Short Cuts” appears on Charter Digital Cable 143 and GAC officials said the FHS segment will most likely air in May or June.


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